After graduating from college with a degree in Finance, I continued to work at what is now known as the Diakon Wilderness Center. I worked on the weekends, putting in over 40 hours Fri., Sat. and Sun. This left me with a nice chunk of time Mon. - Thurs. to do other things. I spent a lot of time reading and studying about rotational grazing. I learned what plants should be in the pasture, the rotation duration should be 30 days because most pasture legumes and fescues reach peek nutrition every 30 days along with how to best supplement an animals diet to maximize the pasturing.
When I felt ready, I went to my father and asked him for 5 acres to fence in for pasturing. He reluctantly agreed, to his credit. I worked on building the pasture for the next 4 months. I used as much existing material at the farm as I could and minimized purchases. It was a long and hard process to dig holes, set posts, lay out fencing, stretch the fence, nail it to posts and so on. Of course I was accustomed to work, so it didn't bother me that much.
When I was done, I was ready to get some cattle. I purchased 2 Charlee breeds. I built a shelter for them, took them water everyday (I was not yet smart enough to figure out how to set up automatic watering), took hay to them, etc. Everything went well. They grew, were healthy and seemed very happy.
When the time came to process them, I was a bit sad because I had grown attached to them, but I grew up a farmer, so the purpose behind raising them won out over my emotions. When we sat down to dinner with the first steaks, it was a big deal. How would it taste? It was chewy, flavorless and gamy. Quite disappointing. After all that work, it felt a bit like a failure.
Were there adjustment I could make to improve the quality of the beef? I set out to find out.
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